Aide to Michigan Republican Who Called Capitol Riot 'Hoax' Quits to Work for Democrat

A senior aide to Michigan State Senator Mike Shirkey is leaving her job and will take up a new position with the state's Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel, the AG's office announced on Thursday.

Amber McCann currently serves as Shirkey's deputy chief of staff and press secretary but has accepted a role as special projects director at the attorney general's Office of Public Information and Education. She will begin the new job on March 8.

Shirkey, who is Michigan's Senate majority leader, has faced strong criticism from state Democrats for comments claiming the events of the deadly Capitol riot on January 6 were staged and had nothing to do with supporters of former President Donald Trump.

"Ms. McCann has a reputation as a tireless worker and consummate professional and Attorney General Nessel is eager for her to continue serving the people of our state," said Attorney General Communications Director Kelly Rossman-McKinney in a statement.

Shirkey issued a statement describing McCann as "a trusted advisor, a consummate professional and integral part of my senior staff team for the past two years," according to Detroit's WDIV-TV.

"I have the utmost respect and admiration for Amber," the statement said. McCann has been spokesperson for two previous Republican state Senate majority leaders and has worked at the Michigan senate for 15 years.

Shirkey has been the center of controversy and faced calls to resign since his comments about the Capitol riot earlier this month.

"That wasn't Trump people," Shirkey told a recorded meeting of the Hillsdale County Republican Party.

"That's been a hoax from day one," he said. "That was all arranged by someone who was funding it all."

"Why wasn't there more security there?" he said. "It was ridiculous. It was all staged."

Shirkey issued a statement apologizing for "insensitive comments" on February 9, saying some of his remarks were "not fitting for the role I am privileged to serve."

"I own that. I have many flaws. Being passionate coupled with an occasional lapse in restraint of tongue are at least two of them," he said.

However, he was later caught on a hot mic on the Michigan Senate floor telling state Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist: "I frankly don't take back any of the points I was trying to make. Some of the words I chose I do regret."

"We have one message for @SenMikeShirkey, who amplified and repeated lies to undermine our democracy, openly met with militia groups and gave them messaging advice: Resign. His rhetoric and actions are not worthy of the office he holds," the Michigan Democratic Party tweeted on February 10.

Trump Supporters at the Michigan State Capitol
Donald Trump supporters march around the Michigan State Capitol Building to protest the certification of Joe Biden as the next president of the United States on January 6, 2021 in Lansing, Michigan. State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey has faced calls to resign. Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images